Characterization of the Old Hydrofracture Facility (OHF) Waste Tanks Located at ORNL


J. M. Keller
J. M. Giaquinto
A. M. Meeks

April 1997

The Old Hydrofracture Facility (OHF) is located in Melton Valley within Waste Area Grouping (WAG) 5 and includes five underground storage tanks (T1, T2, T3, T4, and T9) ranging from 13,000 to 25,000 gal. capacity. During the period of 1996-97 there was a major effort to re-sample and characterize the contents of these inactive waste tanks. The characterization data summarized in this report was needed to address waste processing options, examine concerns dealing with the performance assessment (PA) data for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), evaluate the waste characteristics with respect to the waste acceptance criteria (WAC) for WIPP and Nevada Test Site (NTS), address criticality concerns, and to provide the data needed to meet DOT requirements for transporting the waste. This report discusses the analytical characterization data collected on both the supernatant and sludge samples taken from three different locations in each of the OHF tanks.

The isotopic data presented in this report supports the position that fissile isotopes of uranium (233U and 235U) do not satisfy the "denature" ratios required by the administrative controls stated in the ORNL LLLW waste acceptance criteria (WAC). The fissile isotope of plutonium (239Pu and 241Pu) are diluted with thorium far above the WAC requirements. In general, the OHF sludge was found to be hazardous (RCRA) based on total metal content and the transuranic alpha activity was well above the 100 nCi/g limit for TRU waste. The characteristics of thte OHF sludge relative to the WIPP WAC limits for fissile gram equivalent, plutonium equivalent activity, and thermal power from decay heat were estimated from the data in this report and found to be far below the upper boundary for any of the remote-handled transuranic waste (RH-TRU) requirements for disposal of the waste in WIPP.

ORNL/TM-13394 in PDF Format